United Nations Peacekeeping

  • United Nations Peacekeeping was created in 1948.
  • Its first mission involved the establishment of the UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), which served to observe and maintain ceasefire during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.
  • UN Peacekeeping maintains three basic principles:
    • Consent of the parties,
    • Impartiality and
    • Non-use of Force except in self-defence and defence of the mandate.
  • The UN Peacekeepers are led by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DKPO).
  • There are currently 17 UN peace operations deployed on four continents.
  • UN Peacekeepers are from diverse backgrounds, from areas all around the world. They include police, military and civilian personnel. They are often referred to as Blue Berets or Blue Helmets because of their light blue berets or helmets.
  • The UN Peacekeeping Force won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1988.
  • The United Nations Charter gives the United Nations Security Council the power and responsibility to take collective action to maintain international peace and security. For this reason, the international community usually looks to the Security Council to authorize peacekeeping operations.

India and UN Peacekeeping

  • The Indian Army is the largest cumulative troop contributor to United Nations Peacekeeping Missions mandated to maintain stability and negotiate a peace settlement in turbulent regions of the world.
  • So far India has provided almost 200,000 troops in nearly 50 of the 71 UN peacekeeping missions over the past six decades, including 13 of the current 16 missions.
  • Last year, 7,606 Indian peacekeepers were deployed in UN missions.  
  • Moreover, India has suffered 163 fatalities since the peacekeeping operations began in 1948, the most by any country.
Why in news?
The Indian Army contingent was awarded United Nations Medal for “selfless service”. The contingent is part of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) in South Sudan.